Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Harper's Consservatives counting on the stupidity of young Canadians

From a "do whatever it takes" perspective you can't help but be awed by the audacity of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

After all, our Prime Minister has never let things like scruples or simple truth get in his way when it comes to his pursuit of electoral success. Taxing income trusts, stacking the senate, ignoring an impending global financial storm....Harper has often played to gullible Canadian voters too busy to read the facts behind his sound bytes.

Now we have his latest gambit, "the IPOD tax".

What IPOD tax you ask?

Well...there is none planned or proposed by any party. But never one to let facts get in the way of a good smear, the Conservatives are trying to paint the opposition parties as supporting one.

This tactic reminds me of George W. Bush's successful smear of John McCain during the 2000 southern primaries. Cars in church parking lots in places like the Carolinas had their windshields hit with flyers insinuating that McCain had fathered an illegitimate child of colour....THE HORROR!!!

Great lies have a little scintilla of truth, McCain and his wife had adopted a child of colour, and to ignorant trailer park voters who pay little attention to the news this probably played extremely well. "Yah Billy Bob...I heared sometin' bout dat, he's gots him a coloured little girl".

Students of Goebbels know that when it comes to propaganda, lies don't matter. The bigger the lie the better, just repeat it until it seeps into the collective unconscious of the great unwashed.

And now we have the IPOD tax. Because the Liberals have expressed sympathy toward artists and members of the recording industry concerned about copyright infringement, that means they're in favour of imposing a tax on devices used to swap intellectual property, they're not.

But it may very well work. The next election is going to be close, and polling indicates that Harper is flirting tantalizingly close with a majority. By targeting youth, a demographic that doesn't vote in large numbers, the Tories may have found that elusive wedge to push them over the top.

Even if just a few hundred twenty somethings who normally wouldn't bother voting show up at a polling station and mark an X next to the Conservative candidate...It could very well be enough to make the difference in some closely contested ridings.

It probably is good strategy. Instead of defending an abysmal record, Harper is forcing the opposition parties to defend themselves against a red herring, one that they can't afford to ignore.

Stupid people vote too, it looks like the Conservatives are counting on them coming out in increased numbers so Harper can finally rule without opposition.

No comments: